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Washington Week With Gwen Ifill

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Washington 10, Egypt 8, Anthony Weiner 6, Texas 5, Eliot Spitzer 5, New York 4, Obama 4, United States 3, Morsi 3, Obama Administration 3, Israel 3, Us 3, Gwen Ifill 2, Wendy Davis 2, Janet Napolitano 2, New York City 2, California 2, Pbs 1, Alan 1, Sanford 1,
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  PBS    Washington Week With Gwen Ifill    News/Business.   
   (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    July 12, 2013
    8:00 - 8:31pm PDT  

gwen: we are chock-full tonight with tales of deal making, diplomacy and redemption. tonight on "washington week" -- the house wrestles with the hows and whys of immigration. >> why? why do we need to delay? >> we are not going to do the senate bill. gwen: while slicing money for nutrition programs out of a big farm bill. the obama administration searches for a diplomatic resolution in egypt. >> there is a crisis in egypt. gwen: and the politics at home have complicated. n texas, where the uproar over abortion rights have spread to other states, as in new york, where voters are being asked to test their powers of forgiveness. >> i would like to serve again.
gwen: covering the week, alan gomez of "usa today," peter baker of "the new york times." karen tumulty of the "washington post," and beth reinhard of "national journal." >> award winning reporting and analysis. covering history as it happens. live from our nation's capital, this is "washington week with gwen ifill." corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> we went out and asked people a simple question -- how old is the oldest person you've known. we gave people a sticker and had them show us. a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90's and that's a great thing. one thing that hasn't changed, the official retirement age. how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years?
>> additional funding for "washington week" is provided by the annenberg foundation, the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, live from washington, moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. the action on capitol hill turned to the house this week, which moved on to two issues that could affect the lives of thousands of americans. on immigration reform, taking a sharply diverge end path from their estimate colleagues. >> it's clear that dealing with in this bite-sized churches that members and the american people can digest is the smartest way to go. i'm much more concerned about doing it right than in meeting some deadline. >> when you play football, you
don't play to get to the 10-yard line and then quit. you play to make the touchdown and the american people are expecting us to score. gwen: and the farm bill passed but only after the food stamp funding it caned for four deakeds was stripped away. that sparked a secondary fight. >> what is it about poor people that you don't like and don't want to field their families? >> i want to separate it out. and one day i want to have all of the public assistance in one committee where we can see all of the ones that are redundant. gwen: first to the immigration battle. where does that stand tonight, alan? >> in a pretty precarious situation. the estimate -- senate has passed a comprehensive bill. pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. a lot of border security. new visas. the house is taking a completely different tack. they're going piece by piece.
the homeland security has passed a bill on border security. the judiciary committee has passed bills on high-tech and agricultural visas. but throughout this nobody has so much as filed a bill that deals with the pathway to citizenship. that shows how uncomfortable the house republicans are on this issue. gwen: but the senate had come out with a bill that had so much money, so much attention paid to border security that people were joking about how many border security there was going to be and that's not acceptable in the house? >> in the senate i think they even described it as overkill in terms of how much they were dedicating to the border. at the beginning of this debate, everyone kind of thought we'd be where we are right now. republicans in the house, which despite everything you hear from them about wanting hispanic voters, republicans in
the house individually don't have that much incentive for anything that provides a pathway to citizenship. they had a meeting to talk about immigration. that was issue number one. how to figure it out, how to proceed. >> this is a top priority for president obama. it's a legacy issue for president obama. what can he do given the republican house? does it help if he gets involved and starts making the case with this with the public or does it drive them further away? >> in the senate, you saw the president and the administration taking a back seat. they led the senators take on the conversation. they were influencing from behind the scenes but there was no public display. that's changed completely in the house. the president met with the hispanic caucus -- caucus a few
days ago andt was one of messages, get out and push this to the house. >> what about janet napolitano? announced today s's leaving to head the university of california system. the department of homeland security has been a vigorous player in the immigration debate. a lot of deportations but also enacting the dream act executive actions. what does her departure mean? >> she's been the salesperson for this bill. she's testified before all sorts of committees that deal with border security. citizenship, visas, everything, i.c.e. , customs protection is under here. this is a very interesting time. on the one hand, republicans, not the biggest fans of her record so far. so in some sense it might give some cover to allow them to
maybe get on board on on the other hand we're going to face a nomination for a new department of homeland security and that would -- that could muddle things up more. we'll have to see. >> you mentioned house republicans are not feeling the same pressure that republican party leaders are feeling on a national level regarding hispanic voters. can you explain why that is? >> uh, you look at the house and the average republican house district, is 75% white. the average democratic district is about 50% quhithe and a lot of the minority representation for house republicans has come from big minority districts. texas, california, places like that. they're looking at districts that are maybe 1, 2, 3, 4, 5% minorities. a, they don't have a lot of constituents telling them they need to get in done. >> --
gwen: but the farm bill, which also played out this week. it's not that only people of color get food stamps but the food stamps issue is really dividing the republican caw culls as well as republicans and democrats. >> that is a really tough one. for 40 years they've tide farm subsidies to food stamps in an e. to make sure that both of those are insulated so they can get through congress each year. with the senate already passing a bill. the house broke it into two. that's put both into jeopardy. so far they've said -- the house passed this week a bill solely for the farm subsidies and say they're going to get back to food stamps but we'll wait. gwen: thanks a lot, allen. if you think negotiations in the house are difficult, try taking sides in egypt. the state department has been searching for middle ground
ever since democratically elected president muhammad morsi was forced from power. democracy is far more complicated. the state spokesperson. >> there's been curves in the road, bumps in the road. flat tires, you name it, too long way. it's not an easy task. gwen: that's sounds almost like an understatement. >> i think that bridge has clamsled. we're heading into the ravine at this point in egypt and it's taking the obama administration with them. what is the right approach in that snirks nobody in washington was all that thrillled with muhammad morsi, he muslim brother hood president for only about a year. hadn't been very inclusive. hadn't done much with the economy. really wasn't listening to the obama administration. seizeled power last fall.
military kicking him out is a complicated thing. who wants to support that kind of thing? s this a military coup or not? the obama administration spent all week dancing around this question. ounds like a military coup and looks like one. $1.5 billion is at stake. turned law, if it's a military coup, they have to cut it off. gwen: the white house had been avoiding answering this question but they said yeah, well, maybe the military should release morsi. what's that about? >> they're dealing with this question of the money to use it as leverage to say look, we're not cutting it off this second. we're going to have to review it. it depend on what you're doing now. stop the violence, stop the round-ups. release president morsi and
then maybe we can avoid the hammer falling down. >> peter, are you seeing divisions between democrats and republicans on the issue in congress? >> great question. it's one of the few issues that doesn't cross ordinary lines. republicans don't trust the muslim brotherhood. they believe they're hostile to he united states, believe in tyranny and are happy they're gone. there are other republicans who are more democracy advocates. neo conservatives and promoters of a new order in the i arab world who are very disappointed and think this will convince the radicals to believe that democracy doesn't work. >> if egypt were to lose this money. what would happen? would somebody else come in and
give them that amount of aid? what would happen to the stability of egypt? >> that's a great question. we give them $1.5 billion a year, the second highest amount we give to anybody behind israel. and yet this week, the gulf state of saudi arabia and the other gulf states pledged $12 billion on their own. in that way we're beginning to lose our influence. >> peter, president obama was hammered for supporting mubarek until the very last moment. with morsi, he's been criticized for allowing him to accumulate for power. how critical is it for him and how he handles this situation? >> since morsi was ousted, you haven't seen president obama say one world in public this week. he had different events this week but he's not said one word in public about this he realizes, i think, he did get
in trouble for seeming to be on morsi's side, for not doing enough to rein him in and he thinks now anything he does can only make the situation worse. it cannot look like the united states is dictating egypt. gwen: is egypt stale linchpin in the middle east in many respects? i noticed today the president called the leader of saudi arabia. how important is it that that relationship be worked out? >> it really is dynamic. egypt, as you say, it's been the main partner in the united states in the region, largely because of its peace agreement with israel forged in the carter administration but over the years they seem less and before their al own borders. you see non-arab aboutors like the iranians and turks also
playing a bigger role in that sense egy has eclipsed to some extent its traditional role but it is critical to any long-term relationship between israel and its wreeg region and that's why we continue to give them that money. gwen: watching democracy work out is tough back here at home. at this hour, the texas state senate is set to accomplish what a dramatic filibuster accomplished a few weeks back. it was -- it would -- it would force abortion clinics to operate under the same regimen as hospitals. how many other states are we talking about? >> well, at this point, just halfway through there year, over a dozen states have enacted some form of new
restrictions on abortion in total, 43 different restrictions on abortion. these are figures that are put together by a pro-choice advocacy organization but their numbers are well-respected by both sides. the texas bill would do a number of things. it would basically require abortion clinics to operate as ambulatory surgical centers. only six of the abortion clinics in the state at this point do meet those standards so that may mean that dozens would have to shut down. it would also put a ban on all abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. this is another time of murtha we have seen very popular in state legislatures across the country and was also passed by the united states house of representatives just last month. gwen: marco rubio is its main
sponsor in washington, right? >> it is a question that polls very well. it's always been the case that the public's acceptance of abortion diminishes the closer you get to viability and that's probably somewhere between 22 and 24 weeks. increasingly you hear abortion opponents talk about the threshold where the fetus feels pain. all sorts of arguments we haven't heard in the past. >> why is this happening now? is this a matter of technology getting better and therefore changing our attitudes? >> public opinion has not shifted very much on abortion legality since a few years after roe vs. wade was decided in 1973 and people have always been essentially somewhere in the middle on this question. they think abortion should remain legal, especially in the
early stages but again, under certain conditions. and what has happened is -- first of all, the 2010 elections put a lot of conservatives into these state legislatures and sweer seeing a lo more activity. second of all, we've had things like this horrific trial in philadelphia a -- in which a clinic doctor was essentially in charge of a house of horrors. it's putting attention on the procedure itself, the fetus itself. where again, it's the type of issue where they see that they can win. >> we've seen in the past former representative todd aiken. if you say the wrong think -- thing about this, obviously you can get hammered. but generally speaking, heading into 2014 is this something they see as a benefit? >> basically the republicans
lost two senate seats last year because their candidates said boneheaded things about rape. the other side of the equation, the more it focuses on the pregnant woman herself and her ability to get this procedure, e more the abortion advocate sides win. i think it is going to be a big issue. particularly the issue of late abortions. >> jumping outside a little bit, we heard a lot of discussion about the last election about we need to do better with women voters. you heard the democratic attacks on a war on women is that feud continuing? >> it is and certainly in texas. this question of putting restrictions on abortion clinics, making them operate more like hospitals. the one side says we're doing this to protect the health of the women. good medical practice. the abortion rightsed a cats
are saying no, this is a pretext to just shut down the clinics and i think that is an argument where at this point i think the abortion rights side has a good chance of winning. we saw that in north carolina this week. gwen: we've been covering this issue for years. we've seen it move from the supreme court to congress and now to state legislatures and it seems the anti-abortion activists have been the ones with the plans. do democrats are pro-choice types have a plan to push back? >> they do. their plan, and we saw it in texas with this filibuster by wendy davis, this state senator who became nationally famous. the more they can focus on, again, the right and the accessibility of women who want this procedure, and i certainly heard that in the debate today. wendy davis got up on the senate floor and was talking about how some of these restrictions require a woman to
go back to the clinic three separate times before getting an abortion. that's a very difficult thing for a woman who has two jobs to do or a woman in a rumor area to achieve. gwen: so in each and every case it's not the courts necessarily but fighting language with language? >> exactly. the courts have said they'll allow some restrictions. the question is which ones. gwen: thank you. we close with a bit of a meditation on political kemdem -- redemption. here are a quite a list of politics who bounced back from sexual endeavors. this week, all eyes turn to new york where disgraced former governor eliot spitzer joined disgraced former congressman anthony weiner in seeking political office. the world chutzpah comes to
mind. >> you said it right. the polls show these guys have a shot. we saw a survey this week that showed eliot spitzer 11 points over his opponent. the manhattan borough president, who is not a household name. and you're seeing anthony weiner also inching up in the polls. the longtime frontrunner was the speaker of the city council, christine quinn, also not a household name outside of new york city but now you're seeing weiner in one poll in first place, another poll in second place. gwen: is it that voters have gotten used to the coarsening of politics and don't care anymore? >> i don't know if that's true. there are so many variables that go into these kind of races. you mentioned mark sanford. the former governor of south carolina who had an
extramarital affair in office and misled the voters. mitt romney won that state by 18 points. he had a weak democratic candidate who had never run for office before and the voters in that district, all they saw was republican and democrat. not so much mark sanford's past. as one voter said it's not like he committed murder or something. >> is that the standard? criminality? these things have done embarrassing things and harmful to their marriages. but they're not exactly criminals. is that a condition that stops you from making comebacks? >> it would get in the way of reinventing yourself -- for example, eliot spitzer, after he stepped down as governor -- gwen: hiring a prostitute was not exactly legal but he wasn't charged with a crime.
>> he wasn't. he was on cnn and another cable channel and it's within five years now since he lefts office. some time has passed and he's now doing the typical humility tour. going on "morning joe" and getting choked up. and going on jay leno. gwen: did i miss that? >> i saw that on twitter. i hope i'm not -- and anthony weiner also you're seeing sort of a reinvention. his wife is now fundraising for him. >> but eliot spitzer is running now for a fairly modest office, comptroller. mark san ford went back to the district he had first -- -- he also took a demotion. anthony weiner is asking for a promotion, the big prize in new york politics.
is that one chutzpah over the line here? >> it may be. he's trying to turn the conversation to all of his policy kids and eliot spitzer getting into the race isn't helping with that since it revives all this talk about sex scandals and people comparing what anthony weiner did to what elliott spitzer did. is that worse, is that better? he's going to have now an even bigger challenge to get the voters to focus on what he's going to do for new york city. >> i'm kind of curious about what role technology these days plays in this obviously we can see these days how quickly somebody can fall. it just takes a couple of days -- paula deen, for example. how quickly somebody can suffer an utter clams. does it also help them resurrect their career at some point? >> absolutely. there are so many news cycles that are happening every day and also it helps candidates
who have been shunned by the political establishment. you've seen stories about the unions and business leaders and the political establishment wanting nothing to do with these folks but online they can reach lots of people. i got emails from anthony weiner all week asking for money. >> i'm hoping he denied -- didn't send pictures with it. gwen: somewhere gary hart is thinking why didn't i wait? thanks, everybody. we have to go but the conversation continues online where we'll talk about edward snowden and rick perry and janet napolitano, among other things. we stream live beginning at :30 eastern time or check out the video all week long. keep up with developments with me at the pbs news hour and we'll see you next week on "washington week" and i want to
ish a 100-year happy anniversary to the sisters of sigma pi incorporated. good night. >> corporate funding for "washington week" ask provided by -- -- is provided by -- prudential. additional funding is provided by the annenberg foundation, the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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